Harbaugh gaining on Urban… in Twitter followers

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We’ve not been shy HERE… and HERE… and HERE… and HERE in making it known that those of us at CFT are unabashed fans of Jim Harbaugh‘s Twitter account. And, based on the raw numbers, we’re not even remotely alone.

Despite the account being barely two months old, the Michigan Man hired at the culmination of Project Unicorn  is already No. 2 among college football head coaches when it comes to the number of followers with 197,365 (as of approximately 8:40 a.m. ET Saturday). No. 1? With no hint of irony, it’s the head coach of Michigan’s bitter rival, Ohio State’s Urban Meyer, with 240,279 followers as the former attempts to narrow the canyon-esque on-field gap between the two programs.

There are actually three Big Ten head coaches inside the Top 10 — Penn State’s James Franklin is ninth with 100,857 followers — with another, Nebraska’s Mike Riley (96,004), just outside that realm at No. 11.

As is normally the case, though — except for back-to-back non-title seasons, of course — the SEC heads the class, with that conference’s coaches taking up six of the spots in the Top 10: Tennessee’s Butch Jones ( No. 3 with 174,981), Georgia’s Mark Richt (No. 4 with 161,369), LSU’s Les Miles (No. 5 with 159,534), Arkansas’ Bret Bielema (No. 7 with 117,414), Auburn’s Gus Malzahn (No. 8 with 114,835) and Ole Miss’ Hugh Freeze (No.10 with 97,424).

The only SEC West coaches missing from that list are Nick Saban of Alabama and Dan Mullen of Mississippi State. The former has no Twitter account — and as a technophobe loathes texting, emailing and Googling as well — while the latter is 16th in followers with 74,259.

The only head coach not from the Big Ten or SEC in the Top 10 is Notre Dame’s Brian Kelly, whose 124,309 followers are good for sixth nationally.

For a reference point as to those numbers, and because I’m bored at the moment, here are the Top Five in followers from back in early November, as detailed in The Fifth Quarter for Week 11: Miles (145,000), Jones (144,000), Richt (137,000), Meyer (134,000) and Kelly (118,000).

And one final important number: the 2015 season kicks off in exactly 180 days.

(Tip O’ the Cap: ElevenWarriors.com)

Duke LB Koby Quansah out indefinitely after thumb surgery

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With exactly a week until the 2019 season kicks off, Duke’s depth in its linebacking corps has taken a bit of a hit.

The football program announced Friday evening that Koby Quansah underwent surgery earlier in the day to stabilize a fractured right thumb.  The senior linebacker suffered the injury during practice Thursday.

No timeline for a return has been given as Quansah is officially listed as out indefinitely.

During his time at Duke, Quansah has appeared in 35 games.  In 10 appearances (two starts) during a 2018 season that included a broken foot, Quansah, whose official bio states he’s “[l]isted as the starting middle linebacker,” was credited with 38 tackles.

Earlier this summer camp, Quansah was named as one of the Blue Devils’ team captains.

Temple WR Sean Ryan immediately eligible at West Virginia

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In his first season in Morgantown, Neal Brown will have a new offensive toy with which to play as West Virginia heads into the 2019 season.

Early on in the offseason, Sean Ryan opted to transfer from Temple and continue his collegiate playing career elsewhere.  In April, the wide receiver settled on WVU as his next elsewhere, announcing on Twitter that he would be transferring to the Mountaineers.

With the start of a new campaign eight days away, it’s being reported that Ryan has been granted an immediate-eligibility waiver that will allow him to see the field in 2019 for the Big 12 school.

https://mobile.twitter.com/GAllanTaylor/status/1164998952040783884

The granting of the waiver is very likely due to the fact that Temple went through some significant coaching upheaval following the end of the 2018 season.

As a true freshman this past season, Ryan played in 10 games.  In that extended action, the 6-4, 195-pound receiver from Brooklyn, NY, caught 12 passes for 162 yards and a touchdown for the Owls.

Illinois beats out Florida, Nebraska, Texas for Miami transfer Derrick Smith

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Some will say that this could be one of the Fighting Illini’s only Power Five wins in 2019, but you won’t hear that from us.

Aug.13, Derrick Smith tweeted that, “effective today, I would like to inform [Miami Nation], I am no longer on the University of Miami football team.” Over the weekend, Smith took to Twitter again to reveal that four schools are under consideration as a potential landing spot — Florida, Illinois, Nebraska and Texas. In the same tweet, the third-year junior defensive back indicated that a new school will be picked at some point this week.

Friday evening, Smith revealed that he will continue his collegiate playing career for Lovie Smith and the Illini.

It’s believed Smith will be ineligible to play immediately for his new team.  He would, though, have two years of eligibility he can use beginning with the 2020 season.

The Orange Park, Fla., native came to The U as a three-star member of the football program’s 2017 recruiting class. The past two seasons, Smith saw action in 25 of the Hurricanes’ 26 games and was credited with 24 tackles, 1½ of which were for a loss.

Prior to his decision to leave, Smith was expected to play an expanded role in the Hurricanes’ secondary this coming season.

Boise State down a few more freshmen as QB Kaiden Bennett and RB Keegan Duncan leave team

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Boise State’s once impressive Class of 2019 is dwindling much quicker than head coach Bryan Harsin would like just as the season arrives on the blue turf.

As per the Idaho Statesman, freshman quarterback Kaiden Bennett and tailback Keegan Duncan have both left the team. In addition to those names, as many as three other members from the most recent recruiting class could fail to suit up for the program this fall.

Bennett was one of several quarterbacks battling for the starting job to succeed Brett Rypien at Boise State so his likely transfer out seems like a clear indication that one of Chase Cord, Jaylon Henderson or even freshman Hank Bachmeier will be the starter when the team opens against Florida State in Jacksonville. While the three-star recruit from Folsom, California was considered a long shot in the race, his departure may just be the first of several after Harsin names a starter.

The loss of Duncan can’t be overlook either as he was considered to be one of the best recruits in the state of Idaho during his senior season and could have provided depth in a fairly young tailback room this season.

Fellow freshman D.K. Blaylock also left the team this month and two junior college transfers have not made it to campus yet according to the Statesman.

Boise State had signed the top class in the Mountain West in February according to 247Sports and a top 50 group nationally but it appears that highly touted group won’t be making quite the impact many expected after these most recent defections.